1524 The year the Conquistadors invaded Guatemala

90% of the Indigenous population was eliminated by disease during the first century of European contact

“Fire is an authority, it runs us, corrects us, and guides us on our path.” – Felipe Gomez

“Our ancestor’s faith helps us to understand ourselves.” – Felipe Gomez

Guatemala – An ancient land with a tumultuous history
Officially the Republic of Guatemala, this Central-American country is bordered by Mexico to the north and the west, the Pacific Ocean to the south-west, Belize to the north-west, the Caribbean and Honduras to the east and El Salvador to the south-east. With a population of 15.8 million, it’s the most populous state in Central America, and also one of the youngest countries in the western hemisphere. Guatemala is known for its rich and distinct c...

Guatemalan Revolution – Ten Years of Spring
The Guatemalan Revolution is the 10-year period in Guatemalan history between the popular uprising that overthrew dictator Jorge Ubico Castañeda in 1944 and the United States-orchestrated coup d’état in 1954 that unseated President Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán. The Ten Years of Spring are the only years of representative democracy in Guatemala from 1930 until the end of the Civil War.

From the late 19th century, Guatemala was governed by a series of author...

The Spanish Conquest of Guatemala – Centuries of fighting, enforced religion and legalized slavery
The Spanish conquest of Guatemala was a prolonged affair, the Maya kingdoms resisted integration to the Spanish Empire with such tenacity that their defeat took almost two hundred years. The Conquistadors arrived in Guatemala in the early 16th century led by Pedro de Alvarado, one of Hernán Cortés’ top lieutenants. He arrived with less than 500 Spanish soldiers and just some Mexicans, but by making a...

Mayan Spirituality – An ancient religion still going strong
The traditional Maya religion was founded in 250 AD and has existed for over two millennia. It was founded on the notion that everything in the world contains sacredness. Before the arrival of Christianity it was spread over many different Indigenous kingdoms, each with its own variant. During the first 650 years, Mayan civilization consisted of over 40 large cities, spanning modern-day Mexico, Guatemala and northern Belize.

The Mayan rel...

Felipe Gomez is a spiritual guide and leader of the Mayan alliance Oxlaljuj Ajpop. He is fighting for the recovery of Mayan sacred sites for Indigenous peoples through the implementation of the “Law of Holy Places of Indigenous Peoples”, which grants Indigenous communities, the right to manage their sacred sites.

In 1979, +1,000 tons of solid radioactive mill waste and 93 million gallons of radioactive tailings solution flowed into the Puerco River.

100 years – how long it will take to cleanup uranium mines on the Navajo Nation.

“Sometimes I feel like this little doll in this case, just being marveled at.” – Shaandiin Yazzie

“The threat of radioactive pollution is so dangerous that it will be hazardous to human health for 100,000 years.” – Klee Benally

Navajo – The people’s language
You’ll have no doubt heard Klee’s father, Jones, speaking Navajo, and many others introducing themselves and their clans in Navajo during episode 13 of Konnected.tv. The Navajo refer to themselves as Diné, which means “people”, and the Navajo language as Diné bizaad, which means “people’s language”. Navajo is a Southern Athabaskan language of the Na-Dené family.

Navajo is mainly spoken in the southwestern United States and is one of the most widely...

The Long Walk – The Navajo’s Trail of Tears
In the early 1860s, Americans of European descent began settling in and around Navajo lands, leading to conflict between the US and the Navajo. Believing that the Navajo were causing unrest in the area, Brig. Gen. James Carlton, commander of the Department of New Mexico announced his plan to relocate them to a desolate area close to Fort Sumner. His plan was to assimilate them to “white America”, by teaching them to farm, instructing them in Christian ...

Native American jewelry – A traditional craft still going strong
Although you saw Klee working with contemporary mediums in episode 13 of Konnected.tv, he is also a silversmith and leather worker, keeping his Navajo culture alive. When most people think about Native American jewelry, they think about silver and turquoise, although these might be the most common examples you can find in the 21st century, they certainly weren’t the materials used thousands of years ago.

Historically, jewelry was m...

Frybread – A testament to survival
Frybread originated when the US government deported the Navajo to Bosque Redondo. Starting in 1864, they marched thousands of Navajo at gun point over 300 miles to an area close to Fort Sumner, during what is commonly known as the Long Walk of the Navajo. The area chosen to house the Navajo was only 104 km2, nowhere near large enough for 9,000 people. They couldn’t grow enough food at Bosque Redondo, the land couldn’t easily support the Navajo’s traditional sta...

Church Rock Spill – A toxic legacy
On July 16, 1979, the tailings disposal at United Nuclear Corporation’s Church Rock uranium mill, in New Mexico, breached its dam. Over 1,000 tons of solid radioactive mill waste and 93 million gallons of acidic, radioactive tailings solution flowed into the Puerco River. These contaminants then travelled 130 kilometres downstream to Navajo County, Arizona, and onto the Navajo Nation, wreaking havoc and leaving a toxic legacy.

Shortly after the breach, radioact...

Klee Benally is a Diné from Black Mesa, Arizona, who currently lives in Flagstaff. A self-proclaimed Indigenous anarchist, he has spent the majority of his life on the frontlines of struggles to protect Indigenous sacred lands. In every aspect of his work, Klee fights for a livable and healthy world.

Klee uses several different means to fight for the rights of Indigenous people, as a musician he has performed for over 20 years as a solo artist and with the Native American Music Award winning rock gro...

1,000 riot police officers evicted almost 300 indigenous NASA members from a sugar cane plantation that they had peacefully reclaimed.
15,600 hectares of land were promised to the Nasa people decades ago but never actually transferred.

From Konnected

The Nasa people, also known as the Paez, are an Indigenous people who have lived in the Cauca state of southwestern Colombia for centuries. With an estimated population of some 120,000 members, their name comes from the Spanish version of the word pats, m

For the tight-knit Nasa community in Colombia, their land is their “Mother Earth”. Yet throughout history, they have been repeatedly displaced from their territory. The Liberation of Mother Earth is a campaign coordinated by the Association of Indigen